Thursday, December 4, 2014

Christmas in Sweden (1940)

IKEA should a handsome sum to whoever posted this on YouTube, because all I want to do now is visit them and stock up on Swedish Jul goodness.


Monday, December 1, 2014

Holiday boudoir shoot!

I can't get holiday songs out of my head when I look at these pictures that the amazing Dana Kae and I collaborated on, with help from Ashli Danielle Makeup + Hair.

You might remember Dana from my boudoir shoot earlier this year. I loved that experience, so I was crazy thrilled and grateful when Dana asked me to help her with her holiday promo shoot! (Including a sneaky topless romp through a nature preserve after hours..)

See a few of my favorites below, and the full set here.











Monday, November 24, 2014

I started listening to Christmas music two weeks ago and I'm not the least bit ashamed.

It feels like Christmas starts earlier every year, and this year I'm somewhat to blame for that because I pretty much dived right into holiday music once November began. I tried, but eventually I admitted to myself that I just didn't want to resist. So I didn't.

All this is to say that I have a wish list you can look at if you want.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Response to "A Feminist Case Against Abortion"

In October, I went to a lecture at Seattle University titled, "A Feminist Case Against Abortion," led by the president of Feminists for Life (FFL). I went because the title of the lecture made my blood boil and I wanted to counter FFL with some pointed questions. As it turned out, I wasn't alone. The atmosphere after the lecture was tense. Many of us felt that the speaker was trying to avoid the promised Q&A, so we kind of forced it to happen. I admit that I lost my cool for a moment when it became obvious that direct questions weren't going to get direct answers. Afterward, I went out with friends both new and old for Dirty Shirley-fueled rants.

After the lecture, I wrote this response:

Feminists for Life’s president, Serrin M. Foster, is not an unlikeable person. When my friends and I arrived at Student Center #210, she warmly greeted us at the door. At the beginning of her lecture “The Feminist Case Against Abortion,” Foster thanked feminists and anti-abortion attendees alike for coming to listen to a “different perspective.” She lamented it as “disheartening” that anti-abortion and pro-choice people spend eighty percent of the time arguing with each other, rather than focusing on the “unrealized dreams of Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton” and the “unmet needs of women.” The problem isn’t Foster specifically, it’s this: there isn’t a feminist case against abortion. While I appreciate open dialogue and support everyone's right to speak her piece, FFL’s position is a damaging one not only to women and to reproductive choice, but to feminism as well.

As much as I appreciate the foremothers of feminism and the work they did in support of human rights, I would argue that they were neither infallible, nor do their “dreams” take precedence over the personal needs and choices of women. I do, however, agree with Foster that pregnant and parenting women deserve better and more visible resources than are currently available, and I admire the vision of “a society that supports the role of mothers, values the role of fathers, and helps parents provide both financial and emotional support for their children.” An exercise at the end of Foster’s lecture demonstrated that even SU lacks many important resources on-campus, either outsourcing those needs to external community partners or ignoring them completely.

However, conspicuously absent from FFL’s website and from Foster’s speech is mention of support of and funding for comprehensive sex education, accessible reproductive health, and affordable birth control options, which are all correlated with a reduced rate of unintended pregnancies that often result in abortion; this would seem to belie FFL’s stated mission to “systematically [eliminate] the root causes that drive women to abortion,” since an important factor in a woman’s decision to have an abortion is the presence of an unwanted pregnancy. Furthermore, by directly targeting abortion rather than the root causes of injustices against women and parents, Foster and FFL conflate the issues of discrimination, stigma, and poverty with abortion - implying that abortion is actually to blame for those issues - and distract from their more proactive goals and achievements.

Even if we lived in a country with a flawless record of obstetric care, paid maternity and paternity leave, subsidized child care, and other important resources that pregnant and parenting women require, some women still would not want to be pregnant, and as such there would still be a need for safe, legal, accessible abortion care in the event of accidental pregnancies. If such resources did not exist, we have seen throughout history that women would still find ways to terminate unwanted pregnancies, often at the expense of their own lives.

I am a pro-choice feminist, a label that I find redundant but that must be explicitly stated when a belief so erroneous - that a person can be both feminist and anti-abortion - is floating around. Support of bodily sovereignty - the right of a person to exclusive control over her own body - is a fundamental tenet of feminism. Women must be free to choose abortion or motherhood of their own volition and without coercion or social pressure. To be a pro-choice feminist is to support both the women who want abortions and the women who want children, to recognize that intersections between the two exist, and to work toward eliminating stigma and increasing resources for both options. While one can be a feminist and not personally choose abortion for herself, the anti-abortion position that seeks to prevent or discourage ALL women from accessing abortion is one that is inherently UNfeminist. You cannot reconcile a feminism that trusts, respects, and supports women with actively working to take away women’s rights to make their own decisions about their bodies. “Pro-life feminist” is a poisonous oxymoron.


I'm also quoted in the SU student paper!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

The day after Halloween

Always a bummer, like the day after any holiday. Except maybe Thanksgiving, because the leftovers are bountiful. Tyler and I did nothing for Halloween because I am an old person and he is an enabler. We watched scary movies and handed candy out to the seven kids who visited our house. We also put costumes on our dogs.



I already have Christmas songs stuck in my head.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Trunk Club #1

Personal stylist review: Tyler edition!

Tyler is a tall, slim man with longer than average arms. Because it's so hard for him to find a good fit, Tyler pretty much loathes shopping, especially in brick-and-mortar stores. Happily, he's willing to pay for nice clothes that fit him well, so I forced his hand by signing him up for suggested he sign up for Trunk Club.

Trunk Club is described as "hand-selected clothing for men" with "premium clothes." It's kind of like Stitch Fix, except it's for men, there are no fees attached, and you can review your trunk before it's shipped. You also have to chat with your stylist in advance of getting a trunk to review. It's also a lot like Bombfell, except you commit to trying on more clothing at once and they seem to source from different labels. (Tyler has tried Bombfell, too, with mixed results but an overall positive regard.)

Getting the first trunk was kind of frustrating for Tyler because he and his stylist, Lauren, played phone tag for about a week. Eventually they did connect and she sent an email with clothing options to review before they were sent, and about a week after that, FedEx delivered a big box to our front door.


Inside was a note that read, "Hi Tyler, welcome to Trunk Club! The purpose of this first trunk is fit/sizing and to find you versatile pieces. These are great staples to help build your wardrobe. I put together some of my favorite outfit ideas for you. Remember to try EVERYTHING on and provide your feedback. Look forward to your thoughts!"

The trunk contained fifteen items, including a pair of shoes. I thought the presentation was very nice. I also liked the little extras that Lauren had included: three pairs of cool trouser socks, and magnetic power stays.


The first thing Tyler tried on was the Thomas Mason Oxford by Culturata ($135). He looks dubious in the picture on the left, and for good reason as it turned out. Sleeves are his greatest nemesis.








Next, he tried on the L/S Vintage Plaid Shirt by Life After Denim ($98), then the Contemporary Fit Dress Shirt DST by Eton ($265). Foiled again by sleeves!


Having exhausted the trunk's supply of button-up shirts, Tyler moved on to the Marble Jersey Henley by Velvetmen ($120), and then the Long Sleeve Mock Button Neck Sweater by Ralph Lauren ($165). The Henley was sooo soft and I like the brand, but unfortunately it didn't flatter his slim frame. I liked the Ralph Lauren sweater (also ridiculously soft) and thought it looked good on Tyler, but he said he had similar things in his closet already.


Next up was the V Neck Sweater by Jeremy Argyle ($158). It looks pretty good in the picture which makes me regret that he didn't want to keep it. It was a super soft merino wool, too, and green is a good color for him. Then he put the Sherman Cotton Linen Blazer by Sand ($650) on and.. nooo! The sleeves were laughable. Too bad, because the blazer was beautifully constructed (I especially liked the patterned fabric inside, and the faux pocket square).


After nixing all the tops, Tyler tried the pants. Both the A.G. Slim Khakis ($138) and the Paige Denim Normandie Japanese Twill ($179) were too big in the waist. Tyler usually has to wear a belt with all his pants anyway, but other than being nice pants there wasn't much to recommend these pairs, so he chose not to keep them.


Lastly, Tyler tried on the Paige Denim Normandie Slim Straight jeans ($179) with the Monarch J Shoes ($198). These jeans ALMOST made the cut. They were still too loose around the waist, but not too much so, and they looked good with the shoes. (The shoes were too big, unfortunately.) The back pockets looked kind of weird - they were low and huge, and it kind of looked like he had NO tush. The jeans were not as flattering with sneakers - they bunched up and looked like bell-bottoms - and I knew he would try to wear them together.


After all that, Tyler kept one pair of socks! Eeesh. But I enjoyed the process (even if he didn't), and I'm hopeful that with feedback on fit, Lauren can nail at least a few great new outfits for Tyler!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Inheritance: Maiden, Mother, Crone

Last night I attended a special burlesque show put on by Sinner Saint Burlesque, a local group and one of the more accessible and prolific. Their mission is "to celebrate the human experience through smart, sexy entertainment." I've been to several of their shows and they never fail to delight and to occasionally confuse. But their pieces are always unique and interesting.



This one, called "Inheritance: Maiden, Mother, Crone," is hosted by Theatre Off Jackson and "blends burlesque, modern dance, narrative and feminist performance art with activism, intergenerational dialogue, beloved community, and sensory spectacle to explore both ancient and modern stories about what it means to embrace, celebrate and integrate the feminine."

Certain moments of the performance made me uncomfortable because they were so artsy, so very THEATRE, yet didn't feel sincere or well thought out; they were just a little too touchy-feely. And pretty much anything by Jesse Belle-Jones leaves me cold (she makes me wonder if she really takes herself that seriously). But most of the first act wowed me; it was both amusing and poignant. I especially enjoyed "Promise Ring" by Lady Tatas, which skewered the weirdly sexual and infantalizing cultural relationship between a daughter-bride and her father. (It was set to "Butterfly Kisses," which could not have been more perfect.) I also thrilled to Nikola Tease-la's "Sex Education" piece, especially the hilarious clitoris dance. And Evilyn Sin Claire's "Oocyte Ritual," which I took to be about the performer's experience as an egg donor, resonated deeply with me.

Overall, it was an enjoyable and worthwhile experience, and one that I highly recommend, especially for those who want to get in touch with and celebrate the experience of being a woman.

Also, just an FYI, nearby Sun Bakery has really satisfying, cheap custard buns.
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